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was shot and killed in his kandahar home today. a killer a bodyguard who taliban officials say they hired to infiltrate karzai's inner circle. this comes as a blow to the government just days after a visit from u.s. defense secretary leon panetta. we're joined by william cohen. thank you for being with us. >> good to be with you. >> let me ask you about this assassination. some have said this will be a huge propaganda victory for the taliban. do youee? >> anytime they can get that close to the inner circle of president karzai it's a big victory for them. it points out the difficulty that president karzai has had in trying to cope with the local politics as such where all frequently invoking tip o'neill's axiom that all politics is local. we're seeing that all politics are local in afghanistan. that's one of the problems that president karzai has. secondly his brother has a reputation of being a power broker. most of our military leaders have said there's not a military solution in afghanistan it's a political one. it makes it that much more difficult. i think it's going to be more challen
making against the taliban as well as al qaeda. as well as $800 million in assistance could be suspended. this could cause some major problems. if pakistan takes tougher action, the aid could resume. mean while, defense secretary leon panetta is in afghanistan. panetta is meeting with american military leaders and afghan officials. nbc's atia abawi is in kabul this morning. bring us up to speed on what leon panetta is saying that al qaeda is basically on the run and close to being completely stamped out. >> reporter: good morning, thomas. the new secretary of defense's first trip as the defense secretary here in afghanistan, prior to arriving he talked to reporters on the plane about how he feels alg al qaeda is going right now, the war against terror. he says the strategic defeat of al qaeda is within reach, primarily pointing the the death of bin laden, the information they got from the compound including names of different key al qaeda leaders. he says this is the time to actually end the war with al qaeda. let's listen to what he had to say. >> now is the moment following what happen
the taliban and as he was fighting, he saw a live grenade and picked it up and throw it out of the range, and blew up and he lost his hand. >> and he had been wounded by a previous hand grenade and taken several of the comrades to safety. you asked the question earlier about how come not more medals of honor in the conflict, series of conflicts in which it has been difficult fighting, and part of the answer is that any kind of award is a subjective evaluation and has to go through the chain of the command, and everybody in the world looks at it. and in and in the end, the selection is made in such a way that it makes the recipient realize that he is representing all of those people who have not been recognized. >> it is interesting that one of the army ranger captains who was with him said, quote, he is not the kind of person who likes this kind of attention, but he did something really special that day. i mean, when you think about really special that day, that is usually, you know, helping somebody across the street, but this is putting your life on the line even though you sign up for
qaeda in the strength that al qaeda existed several years ago. i's probably not the taliban. it's the history. the flow of the country. having dinner with a young marine corps captain, they said if they removed every weapon from the taliban and cleansed every village of a weapon, they would throw rocks at us. they don't want us there. it's time to come home. >> john heilman, you are chasing them across america in this decade long war in afghanistan. are they talking about it? do they care about it? are they focused on it? do they talk? >> more of the latter than the former. people generally talk about it in the aspect of being asked about it. it's not on the top five list of voters. >> any presidential candidates? >> you have to have a position on it. what's interesting is because the public turned decisively against the wars. >> what does michele bachmann say? she's a tea party candidate. what does she say ability the war? >> she's been relatively silent on the issue. it's been among the main street candidates. mitt romney -- >> huntsman. >> huntsman and romney taking a positio
no other geostrategic options, they went back to the taliban and we don't want to send them back to the policy approach, and if we do that they would cut off our own access logistics in the country, but if you keep rewarding them with the business as usual approach, you not signaled to them how seriously you take their lack of cooperation in the operations. and moreover, the $800 million is not the money we can spend. it is not a punishment, but the new reality they have created. it is the just right approach, and doesn't mean it can work, but i can't think of a better policy operation by the united states. >> what would you be looking for pakistan to do to reassure america that the money can be redispersed? >> well, they have kicked out a lot of our agents and refused to act on specific tips that we have given them about the locations of hideouts or caches, weapons caches for the haqqani networks or other insurgents operating inside of afghanistan or pakistani sanctuaries and i want to see them go after the haqqani network and the broader group in north waziristan and other area
reflects the suffering of all afghan people. the u.s. has condemned the killing. a taliban spokesperson said they hired the gunman and he was punished for all of his wrongdoings. leon panetta with no comments about the military role in the middle east saying the u.s. will have an enduring presence for many years. panetta was making remarks during his first visit to iraq as pentagon chief where he met with nuri al maliki yesterday. just one of several issues he's tackling during his trip. here's chief pentagon correspondent traveling with the defense secretary. >> reporter: the new secretary of defense leon panetta was troubled by the landscape below. u.s. forces said to withdraw by the end of the year are caught up in a war. 15 americans killed in the past month by iraqi extremists armed with rockets and roadside bombs supply by iran. panetta told a gathering of soldiers the killing must end. >> my first responsibility as secretary of defense is to make damned sure we do everything necessary to protect you. >> reporter: panetta pressured iraq's top officials to send iraqi military force
Search Results 0 to 5 of about 6

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